How to Make Udon Soup


In the 9th century, a Buddhist priest named Kukai introduced Chinese udon noodles to the Japanese province of Sanuki. Since then, udon soup has become a popular dish in Japanese cuisine. Usually, udon soup consists of homemade udon noodles served in a Japanese broth called dashi. The soup is served hot and often topped with chopped scallions, tempura, tofu and a Japanese fish cake. Shichimi, a Japanese spice mix, may also be added for extra taste.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot
  • Paper towels
  • Mixing spoon
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 8 ounces udon noodles
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/3 ounce katsuobushi (dried bonito) flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 8 large prawns, with shells removed
  • 14 ounces firm tofu, diced
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Shichimi (optional)
  • Sesame oil (optional)

Cook Udon Noodles

  • Fill a large pot with water and add 2 tablespoons of salt.

  • Bring the water to a boil and add the udon noodles.

  • Cook the noodles until they become tender, about 5 minutes.

  • Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water. Set the noodles aside.

Make Dashi Broth

  • Place 6 1/2 cups of water into a large pot. Turn the burner to a medium heat.

  • Add the katsuobushi flakes to the pot just before the water boils.

  • Once the water reaches a boil, add the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, sugar and mirin. Stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar.

  • Remove any foam that rises to the surface with a large mixing spoon.

  • Taste the broth and adjust seasonings if necessary. You may add some shichimi for extra spice.

  • Take the pot off of the stove and strain the broth with a paper towel.

  • Place the pot back onto the burner and bring to a boil again.

Assemble the Soup

  • Add the prawns and tofu to the dashi broth. Allow the prawns to cook through, about 3 to 5 minutes. The prawns will float when they are fully cooked.

  • Turn off the burner. Add the udon noodles and spinach leaves.

  • Top off the soup with chopped scallions and a drizzle of sesame oil.

  • Dish the soup into four bowls and serve immediately.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to save time, you can make your broth with water and instant dashi powder. Typically, one teaspoon of dashi powder is used for 3 to 5 cups of water. Dashi powder is available at Asian grocery stores. You can also substitute chicken or vegetable stock for dashi broth.

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